Authentic Greek Tzaziki Recipe
Delicious cucumber garlic dip with zesty lemon and fresh dill and mint make this Authentic Greek Tzaziki my go-to dip and sauce during grilling season. Try it with this Grilled Greek Pita Burger.
Tzatziki – pronounced dza – tzhi – ki where more of the emphasis is on the z than the t, is a traditional staple in a Greek kitchen. Served with pita bread as an appetizer, or alongside grilled meats or veggies, it’s a versatile dip and topping that can become an essential in your kitchen as well.
Homemade Greek tzatziki sauce is incredibly easy to make and tastes amazing when it’s prepared with the simplest of ingredients like cucumber, garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs like dill and fresh mint. I literally whip up a batch every Sunday from the end of May until the end of September and we never get tired of it.
It’s a healthy snack with veggies and even homemade pita chips.
Every summer I demonstrate how to make authentic Greek tzatziki sauce to a crowd of festival-goers at the Denver Greek Festival and people are often surprised that traditional tzatziki sauce is made with grated cucumber and fresh mint.
They can taste the freshness of the dill and lemon, but most often people assume the little flecks of green in the dip are onions, which is not the case! My yiayia (grandmother) always put mint in her tzatziki and I can totally taste the difference when it’s not there!
Right now is the perfect time to make this authentic Greek tzatziki dip when you pick up English cucumbers on sale for just $1.00 at Safeway and several varieties of Greek yogurt are on sale as well.
Tips for Making Authentic Greek Tzatziki
I strongly recommend using the full-fat Greek yogurt in this dip because lower-fat options will have more liquid (whey) that you will have to drain in order to get the thick, creamy consistency that this dip delivers.
English cucumbers work best for tzatziki because they have smaller seeds. You don’t need to peel the cucumber, using the peel actually gives the tzatziki a little more texture, color, and flavor.
Squeezing the excess liquid out of the cucumber is the most important step to a thick, creamy tzatziki. Because you are adding olive oil and lemon juice to the yogurt, you don’t want any extra liquid from the cucumber because it will water down the dip. If this happens, I find that placing a white paper towel over the dip while refrigerating absorbs the excess liquid and makes the dip thick again.
Watch a video of this recipe coming together here:
Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 English cucumber unpeeled
- 1 1/2 cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 large garlic cloves finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- Grate the cucumber and top with a pinch of salt to draw out the liquid. Drain through a fine mesh sieve or squeeze liquid using a cheesecloth.
- Combine the yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, dill, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Serve chilled with pita bread for dipping.
Serve tzatziki sauce with homemade pita chips, sliced cucumbers, on top of grilled chicken and burgers.
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